Flickr album link: Baker Archeological Site
Baker, Nevada is the gateway to the Great Basin National Park and this little town is a nice spot for stocking up on last minute items for an adventure in this end of the desert. Because the amazing Wheeler Peak landscape and Lehman Caves are always in the limelight, the majority of visitors simply overlook the lesser known attractions in this area. Oddly enough, these places usually are where solitude is guaranteed to be found, which in turn creates an opportunity for a quality oriented learning experience with no distractions from big crowds. One such local destination is the Baker Archeological Site, which will certainly fascinate those who are interested in retracing the footsteps of mankind in the ancient past.
The Baker Archeological Site is also known as Baker Village and this protected area is where a Fremont Native community existed about 1,000 years ago. This site was excavated by the Brigham Young University Office of Public Archaeology and the BLM back in the early 1990s. The remnants of an entire village were revealed, which covered a few acres of Great Basin Desert flatland next to the mountains. This region definitely was capable of sustaining a large population long ago, but a severe drought that encompassed the entire southwest occurred at just about the time this village was abandoned, so the residents likely moved to better horizons.
The excavation of the Baker Site involved documenting and removing artifacts, in order to protect them from modern day looters. Artifacts from the Baker Archeological site are now housed at the BYU Museum of People and Cultures in Provo, Utah, which is good to keep in mind for a later trip or vice versa. In order to protect the integrity of the unearthed native village, the archeological team back filled the entire site with an earthen cap that ensures that the erosive elements will have no negative effect. Visitors of the Baker Archeological Site can wander around the original digs, which are marked with border rocks. Doing some research prior to arrival and referring to the site map will provide plenty to ponder over while doing the foot tour, which truly is an educational experience for visitors of all ages. For this reason, be sure to keep the BLM Baker Archeological Site in mind when planning a grand tour of the Great Basin National Park!
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